Feds finalize ObamaCare rules

The Obama administration has finalized additional regulations for new health insurance marketplaces under ObamaCare.

The 236 pages of regulations released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday set out oversight and financial standards for the marketplaces, called exchanges.

“In this final rule, we encourage State flexibility within the boundaries of the law,” the agency said in the regulation

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The standards are meant to protect consumers shopping for insurance on the exchanges and outline provisions for small businesses to buy insurance for their employees.

CMS’s rules are some of the final measures for the exchanges, which opened up on Oct. 1.

Flaws in the website for the health insurance exchange run by the federal government have made it very difficult for people in states that have not started their own exchanges to buy insurance.

On Thursday, federal contractors who helped build the federal site were grilled by lawmakers in the House for more than four hours.

The new rules complement some ObamaCare regulations that were issued in August and add new measures aimed to combat fraud and abuse on the exchanges.

They finalize some details about when people can enroll in insurance through the exchanges, as well as standards for vendors conducting satisfaction surveys about insurers on the exchanges.

Many of the provisions become effective by Jan. 1, when the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is scheduled to go into effect requiring that Americans either carry insurance or pay a fine.

However, the CMS said it believes “that affected parties will not have difficulty complying with the provisions by their effective dates,” because many are based on existing standards or have been widely discussed.